Luxury Lifestyle

Even the flowers at Rolls-Royce are bespoke: Inside the creation of the Phantom Rose

The rose blooms at Rolls-Royce headquarters in Goodwood, West Sussex, England.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Spring brings about a sense of renewal and rebirth. Lambs are born in the countryside as grass grows tall and bees begin buzzing around gardens full of flowers. In Goodwood, West Sussex, England, a very special rose blooms.

The Phantom Rose is a bespoke rose with a storied history, a theme that runs parallel with the super luxury auto brand whose headquarters the flower calls home - Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Rose Harkness Rose floral nursery worked for eight years to perfect the bespoke rose.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Philip Harkness, a British horticulturalist and rose breeder bred the Phantom Rose especially for the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective. Harkness is of the Harkness Rose floral nursery in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, which is renowned for having developed and bred several types of roses, having won gold at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show more than 25 times in the last 50 years.

The fresh breed of rose was commissioned by Rolls-Royce. Upon commissioning, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Designer Sina-Maria Eggl, commented, "The rose had to embody Rolls-Royce's poise, elegance and allure. The result was a very pure, delicate but voluminous white flower: sensual, but strong in presence, with an alluring aroma and extra winter durability."

It took eight years for Harkness to develop. It was, he says, a labour of love. "A rose has the ability to captivate you on many levels. It is a thing of beauty, it can stimulate the senses with wonderful perfume, the soft touch of the petals or the rasping pain from a thorn. It touches our emotions, signifies love and appears in some of our finest poetry."

Rolls-Royce describes the Phantom Rose as, "a blousy, creamy-white flower, offering a full bloom of 50 petals and a rich perfume."

Phantom Rose Phantom's Gallery Design Process

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

The rose snow grows in a specially designed bed, fringed with lavender, that runs alongside the reflection ponds adjacent to the marque's Sir Nicholas Grimshaw plant. Rolls-Royce associates designers can view the rose bed through the plant's floor-to-ceiling glass as they work.

The bed is very near where Rolls-Royce's bee operation is housed.

In 2017, Rolls-Royce undertook a one-off design for Phantom's Gallery featuring the rose. The Gallery is protected by an uninterrupted piece of glass that spans the width of the Phantom and is backlit. Stems of the rose were flown to master artisans from world-renowned porcelain manufacturers in Nymphenburg, Germany where they were examined in various stages from bud to bloom. The artisans crafted white porcelain versions of the rose in a process that took three months.

More recently, the Phantom Rose served as an inspiration for a million-stitch Rose Phantom, which featured embroidered flowers throughout the cabin of the vehicle. Learn more about the creation of the Rose Phantom by watching the short film below.

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The Langen Two Stroke will debut at Salon Privé.

Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

Langen Motorcycles, a new British company, is set to launch its first bike, the Two Stroke, at Salon Privé this week. The Two Stroke is a road-legal bike that, according to the company, "will attack your senses through the sound, smell and sheer thrill that only a lightweight, two-stroke can deliver."

Intrigued yet? The new model is powered by a two-stroke 250cc V-twin engine that relies at 14,500 rpm. The heart is produced for Langen by Vins, which is based in Maranello, Italy. It makes 75 brake horsepower and 33 pound-feet of torque. Lagen describes its development: "Born from an 'extra-curricular' passion project from members of the Ferrari research and development department, the CNC-machined engine has been developed over the last five years."

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke Each Langen Two Stroke is handmade.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The motorcycle's chassis is made from large-diameter, laser cut aluminum tubing with bonded and machined connection points and has Ohlins front forks and British K-Tech rear shocks. Hel Performance brakes, Dunlop tires, and a K-tech suspension also take residence on the motorcycle. The Langen Two Stroke weighs just 251 pounds and has a power-to-weight ratio that is better than most supercars.

Each Two Stroke is a handmade, bespoke creation. The bodywork, including the fuel tank is made from hand-laid carbon fiber, as is the gold leaf detailing. Buyers can customize their moto's paint color, chassis finish, suspension type, and wheels. Ergonomics can be customized to the buyer's preference.

The Two Stroke has been designed and engineered in England. Each model will be built in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke The motorcycle's ergonomics can be adjusted to best fit the driver.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

'The company has been founded with the aim of producing motorcycles with a simplicity and purity of days gone by, like the 'Ton-up boys' and their Caf racers – yet pushing the limits of modern technology," said Chris Ratcliffe, creator of Langen and designer of the Two Stroke. "My dream has always been to create a small piece of British motorcycling history. To be able to launch this special motorcycle under a completely new brand really is a dream come true. The aim is to continue to push boundaries and create more interesting bikes, which we hope will really please people"

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke The company is new to the retail landscape.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The first round of builds will be limited to 100 individually numbered models. Production is targeted to begin in summer 2021.

A further 150 motorcycles will be produced starting 2022, which will be available in homologated form for road use in other countries around the world. The total number of builds will be strictly limited to 250 bikes, each of them built to order.

Langen Motorcycles Two Stroke Each motorcycle's suspension is customizable.Photo courtesy of Langen Motorcycles

The Two Stroke is priced from £28,000 plus VAT where applicable. Pre-orders are now being taken with a £1000 refundable deposit to secure one of the 100 initial bikes.

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The new, next-generation Rolls-Royce Ghost has been revealed.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars this morning revealed the next-generation version of its Ghost sedan. The new Rolls-Royce Ghost carries over nearly nothing from the current model in a move designed to bring the automaker to the height of bespoke luxury while maintaining a heaping helping of brand identity.

The most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce yet reflects the company's "Post Opulent" design philosophy. It's a new take on what it means to have wealth, coming into fruition on a car that bears one of the oldest monikers in the company's lineup.

Rolls-Royce Ghost The car comes with all-wheel drive.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

"The first Goodwood Ghost was a response to a whole new generation of clients, both in age and attitude. These men and women asked us for a slightly smaller, less ostentatious means to own a Rolls-Royce," said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive Officer, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in a statement. "The success of the product we created for them fulfilled our most ambitious expectations. Over its ten-year lifespan, which began in 2009, Ghost has become the most successful model in the marque's 116-year history."

The design is simpler and more narrowly focused for the client. A Ghost owner isn't looking for the over opulence that a Phantom owner is, nor are they seeking the off-road prowess of the Cullinan. There's a certain simplicity and elegance to the design that maintains and builds on the expected super luxury experience.

Underpinning the new model is Rolls-Royce's aluminum Architecture of Luxury - the same as the Phantom and Cullinan. It has the world's first Planar Suspension System, which is designed to increase the car's agility while delivering an effortless drive experience. The Planar Suspension System replaces the traditional Magic Carpet Ride experience, advancing the achievement of a stable and serene ride after 10 years of development. The technology is reserved for Rolls-Royce despite the fact that the company is part of the large BMW Group family.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Rolls-Royce has achieved perfect 50:50 weight distribution in the model.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Some of the car's easy maneuverability is down to the car's 50:50 weight distribution. Rolls-Royce has made the Ghost longer and wider than before. These changes allow for all-wheel drive.

The Ghost's body is crafted from one piece of aluminum meaning there are no seams in the bodywork. One hundred percent aluminum laser-welded doors are in place on the model. The door structure saves weight compared to steel and keeps out more noise than steel would.

At its front is the company's signature Pantheon grille. In the new Ghost, it is down lit by 20 LEDs to illuminate Rolls-Royce iconography. LED and laser headlights flank the grille. The Spirit of Ecstasy has taken her traditional place on the hood.

The model is powered by the company's hallmark twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter V12 engine. It delivers 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. Larger intake porting has allowed the engine to breathe better and pass along less noise to the cabin.

Effortless isn't just for the drive experience. The car's electronic doors now open and close (before they just glided shut with the press of a button).

Rolls-Royce Ghost

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce has tuned the car's interior components to a specific resonant frequency to increase the feeling of serenity for occupants. That tuning has led to a near-silent interior. Engineers toyed with a completely silent interior but found the result "disorientating" so a soft undertone was added.

Uniquely, the car is the first application of Rolls-Royce's Illuminated Fascia, which features the Ghost nameplate surrounded by over 850 LED "stars".

Rolls-Royce has given the car a Micro-Environment Purification System. The system channels all cabin air through a nanofleece filter.

Drivers sit behind the wheel and in front of a 7x3 high-resolution head-up display. The car also has a Wi-Fi hot spot, self-parking capability, navigation, and an entertainment system.

Rolls-Royce Ghost The car retains the available Starlight Headliner.Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce has given the car a bespoke 18-channel 1,300-watt audio system. The system features exciter and cone-type speakers, all bonded to the surface of an object.

It has a 17.9 cubic foot trunk giving the model more space than a Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and most versions of the BMW 5 Series.

The car comes with a number of safety features including vision assist with day- and night-time wildlife and pedestrian warning, alertness assist, a four-camera system with panoramic and helicopter view, adaptive cruise control, collision warning, cross-traffic alert, and lane departure and change warning.

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